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SYTYCD: The Michael Jackson episode

Guest judge Jenna Dewan Tatum
Photo by Robert Benson

Tonight’s show was a tribute to the music of Michael Jackson with guest judge Jenna Dewan Tatum. The Top Eight opened the show in a futuristic performance in metallic space-looking suits to Jackson’s “A Place With No Name.” The group performed as one solid unit and Jackson’s former choreographer Travis Payne created some beautiful shapes. This dance is definitely worth a watch (or a second) if you missed tonight's show.

Tonight all the dancers would also perform solo dances in addition to pairings with different Allstars. Tanisha was up first with a ballroom dance to “Warrior” by Havana Brown where she feistily manipulated a long skirt.

Ricky and All Star Jaimie were fabulous in Travis Wall’s Contemporary piece to “Smile.” There was a particularly beautiful arabesque which carried over into a front roll. These two were a great pair with this dance which required such length and with the contrasting contractions in a short period of time. They made the transitions between the two extremes look effortless. Ricky is safe for another week thanks to your viewer votes and will be dancing with Allstar Anya next week.

Zack performed his Tap solo with some MJ flairs added in to “Gotta Get Thru This (Acoustic Version)” by Daniel Bedingfield. The dance was fun to watch and definitely a crowd-pleaser.

Valerie and All Star Ryan treated the audience to Jean Marc Genereux’s “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’.” Valerie is very stable and great about hitting all the positions with perfection. There were a couple of awkward bits where she missed the hip action but otherwise danced beautifully. Valerie is also safe this week and set to dance with tWitch next episode.

Casey twirled his way through his solo to “Outro” by M83. He performed all his signature moves with a triumphant smile.

Rudy-looking like an action hero-was next with his martial arts fusion dance. His show of strength and agility was staged to “Warrior” by Drenz.

Choreographers Pharside and Phoenix returned with a Hip Hop dance to “Xscape” for Casey and All Star Comfort. Comfort was a dangerous spider seeking to capture Casey in her clutches. This dance style was obviously not quite Casey’s forte although once the momentum of the dance picked up he did hold his own against the incomparable Comfort. Casey is in the bottom this week.

Jacque’s solo was performed to “Nocturn in C Sharp.” She danced gracefully en pointe and likely inspired many a young ballerina to work a little harder in class this week.

Tanisha was stunningly beautiful with Season 1 champion Nick in Stacey Tookey’s Contemporary piece. They danced to “She’s Out of My Life” with such strength tempered with grace that it is almost beyond words. Tanisha was absolutely on a level with her partner. Tanisha is in the bottom this week.

Jessica danced her Contemporary solo to Celine Dion’s “Taking Chances.” At first the dance seemed too hurried to showcase her gorgeous grace but when it slowed a bit, Jessica showed her control is an impressive number of successive turns.

Ray Leeper’s “dysfunctional relationship” dance for Rudy and Allison to “Dirty Diana” was intense. Allison is a force to be reckoned with and Rudy was with her step for step. His strong partnering was brilliant and he even tossed Allison up into the air to catch her in a cradle hold. Rudy was voted into the bottom this week.

Valerie performed her solo to “Dance With Me Tonight” by Olly Murs. The red shoes and sparkly pants set off a vibrant Tap performance with some great turns.

Spencer Liff had a wonderful Broadway number for Zack and his All Star partner Makenzie to “The Way You Make Me Feel.” Zack had been tapping only half an hour ago and yet made this piece look absolutely effortless. His stage presence and muscle control were fantastic. Zack is safe again this week and will be dancing with Fik-Shun for the next round of the competition.

Ricky’s solo was classic Contemporary with some impressive shows of muscle control. His last movement was particularly impressive as he did a back-bend from second position.

Dave Scott had a Hip Hop dance for Jacque and tWitch to “Slave to the Rhythm.” Jacque was a chameleon tonight totally abandoning her beautiful ballet posture to keep up with her talented partner. Despite her great performance Jacque joined Tanisha in the bottom.

Jessica and All Star Will danced to Mandy Moore’s Contemporary piece to “Earth Song.” Your Albuquerque Dance Examiner had chills watching Jessica’s passion and musicality paired with Mandy’s strong choreography. Fortunately, Jessica is safe this week and set to dance with Ade in the next.

Tonight's dance crew was "Control Freakz" dancing to "La Valse d'Amelie" by Yann Tiersen in a pop and lock performance beyond description. The elimination was a little on the shocking side, however. Tanisha and Rudy were sent home with Jacque and Casey left to dance another week. Jacque to be paired with Will next week while Casey is paired with Makenzie.

Albuquerque viewers can catch So You Think You Can Dance Wednesdays at 7 p.m. (MST) on Fox Channel 2. Next week the contestants will be dancing with different All Stars with guest judge Christina Applegate.

Readers, keep your favorite dancers in the competition! Everyone can vote for their favorite dancers (including favorite dance crew) via the show website or the smartphone app through Thursday at 10 a.m. (PDT). Each voter gets 20 votes to divvy as they see fit.

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